INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Having been gigging and recording constantly since forming in late 2013, it has got to be said that Derby two-piece Scribble Victory have one of the strongest work ethics of anybody I know.
This, along with a unique, diversely influenced sound, centred around two vocalists, an acoustic guitar and a drum kit, has resulted in the duo getting praise from other bands, their growing fan base, and music critics, with Louder Than War magazine placing them amongst the fifty bands they think will make a substantial impact in the near future.
With a new EP planned for release later in the year, and having played a set in Nottingham supporting As December Falls, I caught up with them and they gave me a frank account of their story so far.
How did the two of you form Scribble Victory?
TOM WARD (drums/vocals): I’ll let you explain this one, Jamie.
JAMIE THOMPSON (vocals/guitar): The band started out as a project I was doing in my final year at Derby University, and then I decided to sort of do it live. We had a bass player, and Tom was the only drummer I really knew.
Then, I decided we didn’t need a bassist, I think he left actually, and yeah, that’s how it sort of came about.
From where did the band name originate?
JAMIE: I used to be in another band, and we wrote a song which I called ‘Scribble Victory’. The rest of the band didn’t really like the song title, so I had to change it.
For the university project I was doing, and because at the beginning, I only had myself to answer to, I thought: “Sod everyone else, I’m going to use it for the name of the project.” Where it came from before, I have no idea.
TOM: Usually, Jamie will say it’s a secret.
Which bands/artists do you both take inspiration from?
TOM: We’re influenced a lot by bands such as American Football, Jimmy Eat World, Blink-182, just old Nineties emo/pop-punk.
JAMIE: More recent influences have been Modern Baseball, The Hotelier, Pinegrove, that sort of stuff.
What is the band’s approach to songwriting?
JAMIE: In the early days, it would basically come from me messing around, writing a song and asking Tom: “I’m rubbish on drums, would you write something for this?“. He would then put some harmonies over the top of it, but nowadays, we sort of jam a lot.
TOM: Yeah, that’s right, but Jamie will be the one who writes the lyrics and comes up with the main concepts. We’ll jam with the guitars, and usually something entirely different will come out.
Last October, you released your latest EP ‘Expectations’. How was the reaction to that?
JAMIE: It was really positive actually, yeah. We had an EP release show, but just before, Tom put his back out, so I ended up having to do it by myself, but it was a good gig, and in terms of sales, it’s done well.
How did you put your back out, Tom?
TOM: I’ve always had problems with it, and one day, literally while we were shopping, I realised I’d left my keys in the car. I went to go and grab them, I bent down and my back literally went. It took me at least a week to get over it, I couldn’t walk, and the feeling of not being able to do anything at all was horrible, but at least I had Jamie, who lives a few floors up from me with his girlfriend in a block of flats, to wait on me, hand and foot.
How, for the both of you, is the experience of playing live?
TOM: For us, it’s what we love to do. We play a lot of gigs throughout the year, we aim for at least a hundred, 120 in that time. That, for us, is what being a musician is all about, just playing live and interacting with as many people as we can.
Don’t get us wrong, we love the recording side of things, but live is the absolute pinnacle.
JAMIE: Yeah, I would say we do prioritise playing live over recording. We’ve just played our 48th gig already this year, and we’re well on the track to reaching triple figures.
What’s the plan for the near future?
JAMIE: We’ve got another EP planned, we’re recording it at the moment actually, and some of the tracks off it we’ve played tonight. It’s one of those things, we’ve been playing those songs for over a year now, we haven’t released them yet, and people have been getting on our case about it, so we need to do it as soon as possible, really.
TOM: The idea is after that, we would love to tour Europe, because we’ve never really been on a proper tour before, and it would be nice to experience how we would go down over there.
What is the long-term aim for the band?
JAMIE: Actually, me and Tom were just talking about this. Probably to get a Nando’s black card!
TOM: That would be brilliant.
JAMIE: It’s crazy, the Nando’s black card is like membership to a secret society. Yeah, and that’s about it.
TOM: Honestly, to just continue what we’re doing now, playing to new audiences, meeting new people and releasing stuff as much as we can, that would be the end goal, and also to have fun doing it as well.
I think that’s it. Any final words at all?
TOM: Yeah. Keep your eyes peeled for our new EP, which should be out sometime later on this year, probably around late August.
YOU CAN KEEP UP TO DATE WITH WHAT SCRIBBLE VICTORY ARE DOING AT THESE SITES:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.scribblevictory.com